The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Kendrick Green in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but is it possible he could be a roster cut this year?
The final wave of NFL roster cuts is upon us. From now until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 30th, clubs will be asked to cut their rosters from 80 players all the way down to 53. The Pittsburgh Steelers preseason finale against the Detroit Lions taught us a few things.
Some players solidified their roles on the team this year, while others are squarely on the bubble. After starting the first two exhibition games for the Steelers at left guard, Kendrick Green was demoted for Kevin Dotson in the final preseason game.
Dotson’s performance wasn’t spotless, as he had a couple of rough pass sets and a penalty in the first half. However, Dotson certainly looks like the better option at the position and it’s looking abundantly clear at this point that Green is out of a starting job.
However, some around Steelers Nation have questioned whether or not Green could be out of a job altogether. Mike Tomlin was hoping to see much more from the athletic offensive lineman after a disappointing first year. Making the switch from center to guard clearly hasn’t helped, and I would argue that Green’s second preseason was worse than his first. Could it be bad enough to the point where the team is ready to give up on him?
Could the Steelers cut Kendrick Green?
Based on his performance, the answer should be ‘yes.’ Green has been abysmal this summer and hasn’t come close to holding his own against starters or backups in the preseason. In fact, he has been downright embarrassing at times with the way he has been manhandled at the point of attack.
At 6’1 /7/8” and 305 pounds, I was very adamant that the Steelers should not move him from center to guard. I knew that he either needed to make it work at center or it wasn’t going to work at all. Compared to NFL guards, Green’s size makes him smaller than nearly all other players at his position, according to Mockdraftable’s database.
The other big question is Green’s versatility. Knowing that he’s going to be a backup at best, would the Steelers trust him to come off the bench if there was an injury to either guard position? Green really struggled at left guard and he has never taken any snaps at right guard. On the other hand, John Leglue proved to be a quality stop-gap player and swing interior offensive lineman last season. He turned heads with some impressive performances in his five starts in 2021.
If this is the case, what purpose does an undersized interior backup serve? If Tomlin likes Leglue better as a backup guard for either position, what good does it do to keep Green on the roster?
The biggest dilemma honestly has to do with the investment here. The last time the Steelers were willing to give up on a third-round pick so quickly was Sammie Coates after two seasons when they came to the realization that he couldn’t catch the football. Would the organization be okay with giving up on Green?
When the trade deadline passes, I do think that Kendrick Green will still be on Pittsburgh’s roster. He’s still young and athletic and the fact that he’s a former third-round pick is going to help his chances of sticking. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team sought external help for the position. If this proves to be the case, Green’s time in Pittsburgh could be very short-lived.